Background: Fruit and vegetable intake has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and diabetes mellitus. It is possible that antioxidants play a large part in this protective effect. However, which foods account for the variation in antioxidant intake in a population is not very clear. We used food frequency data from a population-based sample of women to identify the food items that contributed most to the variation in antioxidant intake in Norwegian diet. Methods: We used data from a study conducted among participants in the Norwegian Breast Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), the national program which invites women aged 50–69 years to mammographic screening every 2 years. A subset of 6514 women who attended the screening in 2006/2007 completed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Daily intake of energy, nutrients and antioxidant intake were estimated. We used multiple linear regression analysis to capture the variation in antioxidant intake. Results: The mean (SD) antioxidant intake was 23.0 (8.5) mmol/day. Coffee consumption explained 54% of the variation in antioxidant intake, while fruits and vegetables explained 22%. The twenty food items that contributed most to the total variation in antioxidant intake explained 98% of the variation in intake. These included different types of coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, walnuts, oranges, cinnamon and broccoli. Conclusions: In this study we identified a list of food items which capture the variation in antioxidant intake among these women. The major contributors to dietary total antioxidant intake were coffee, tea, red wine, blueberries, walnuts, oranges, cinnamon and broccoli. These items should be assessed in as much detail as possible in studies that wish to capture the variation in antioxidant intake.